Monday, October 5, 2015

Jump to the start

Blogger only shows posts in reverse chronological order. I recommend jumping to the first post and moving forward in time.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Splint patient #2 update

Here are some photos from patient #2's splints. This one was fitted on July 18th and stayed on for 4 weeks without reapplying any nail glue. It did recently come off while in the shower.

This individual doesn't have mallet finger, but does need keep her finger straight for post surgery healing.

Another finger bend update

Seems to be about 40degrees. Feels significantly less stiff.

Exciting, isn't it.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Finger bend update

Appears to be around 35 degrees.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Finger bend update

Just a quick update to track how far my finger can bend over time. 30 Degrees today.

Still wearing and old splint at night when I sleep (taping to fingertip instead of glue).

Monday, August 1, 2011

Removing splints - 96 days (approx 13 weeks)

I had a few set backs in the first couple weeks of wearing the splint. Mostly around moving my finger while trying to make new splints, but I did have one catastrophic splint failure where the fingernail popped off during an exercise workout (May 12th) and I felt my finger bend too far. This was back before I figured how to hook the splint over the nail and to avoid getting oils on the glued area.

So, I figure total healing time puts me at 11 weeks.

DIP joint is stiff and I can clearly feel tension when I flex that joint beyond 20 degrees, so I'm taking it easy and wearing a splint at night. However, instead of gluing the splint, I'm just taping both ends.

Here's the condition of my finger after removing the flexible splint.
Slightly swollen still. Fingernail has ridges.

Top view

Trying to show ridges.

I don't think any of this is unusual and I'm pretty sure my nail would look find if I went to a salon and got a manicure.

Showing range of movement for finger.
One side bonus of wearing a splint, I've trained myself to not bend that finger too much.

 I'm super happy with the latest splint design with the tubing used at the fingertip. I think it should become part of the standard design. Only problem is I used some thick walled tubing I bought years ago and I don't remember the source.

A lot of flex can be absorbed by the tubing.
Getting the correct tubing is key. Thermal plastic will not bond to every type of silicon/vinyl tubing out there.

Condition of the last prototype

I did remove some plastic that covered the silicon tubing to allow more range of motion. I used a razor and a warm coffee cup to smooth it out.

Closeup of flexible part

Tip still has superglue on bottom.

Thermal plastic stayed smooth and comfortable near PIP joint.


Next step is to purchase a bunch of different types of tubing and test how thermal plastic behaves with it.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Flexible splints - v16 and v17

Two failed experiments

The first experiment used a flexible piece of tubing as the proximal strip used to hold the splint against the knuckle. It was very uncomfortable compared to thermalplastic. The edges were the main problem.

V16 - Soft tubing used near the PIP Joint  (knuckle) wasn't comfortable

V16 Bottom view. You can see where the flexible 'joint' is.

It didn't matter because it didn't stay on very long. The fingernail glue came off quickly. I think it partly had to do with eating popcorn at the movies! I didn't think about it at the time; however, eating popcorn, corn-on-the-cob, even french fries maybe have too much grease that could dissolve the nail glue.

Second attempt

I switched back to the thermalplastic PIP joint band and focused on the flexibility of the wishbone.

V17 - Nothing too special. Single flexible section in wishbone. Nail glue failed too quickly.

It didn't hold. I realized the problem is caused by the flexibility of the wishbone. It was causing the head to torque and come loose from the nail.

Solution was to add a piece of flexible tubing between the nail and the splint.

v17 - small section of tubing against nail to allow some movement.

The nail glue was applied to tubing and it held very well. Next, the thermalplastic was heated as normal and direct heat was applied to the tubing on the nail by touching it to the metal shield of the heat gun. With both hot, they stuck without any issue. Then a thin piece of plastic was pulled over the end to hook on the fingernail.

V17 with two flex points. The middle of the wishbone and the fingernal.
I've been wearing this version for 24 hrs and it's holding great. Very comfortable.

I'm wondering if a thinner piece of tubing could be used in non-flexing splints just to get a better hold. If the plastic is too rigid, then all the torque could be causing the nail glue to fail. Distributing some of this energy into the tubing could make the nail end hold butter.